3 Reasons Why You Need a GPS For Your Next Hike
Nowadays, tracking systems in their GPS are being carried by hikers as a common equipment. Sometimes, these systems are employed by authorities as a way to register a hiker so that rescue operations can be effectively carried out later on.
There is a myriad of benefits in owning a GPS, one of them include helping you not to worry about the need to keep track of your position. For hunters, a hunting GPS can allow them to identify places which are legal hunting zones, knowing direct routes to reach your favorite hunting spots or even letting you know which tree stand to hunt for that day, giving you the best results. Despite its many benefits, I would only focus on the reasons why you need a GPS for hiking. Below we will highlight 3 reasons why you need a GPS for your next hike.
Keep yourself safe even in emergency situations
Even when the worst happens, where you found yourself severely injured or stranded somewhere a few days without proper nutrition, a hiking GPS can be your lifesaver in many ways. A built-in SPS button can be fixed in the GPS and this would send out emergency signals so that people can effectively sniff you out.
Usually, it is only when you have a GPS that you can efficiently utilize distress signals and navigational aids. Two kinds of transmitters can give out distress signals, which are personal locator beacons and satellite messengers. However, we would usually utilize satellite messengers because the personal locator beacons are only used when there are severe emergency situations.
For satellite messengers, which is what we usually use, would be one effective alternative for us to help inform our rescuers about our coordinates. These satellite messengers do not require mobile phone signal to operate because they would communicate with a commercial satellite that has a wider coverage. Hence, there is no need to ‘search’ for you and people would immediately be able to rescue you.
Be able to fully understand your surroundings
A GPS can help you to understand your surroundings in several ways including by employing the method called scouting and providing you sufficient information.
Concerning scouting, it is a useful way which most hikers can employ so that they can fully understand the terrain they are going to hike. You would first need to utilize a computer and look at computer maps, marking locations which you would need to pass through in the trail. After that, you can transfer those waypoints into your GPS when you are done. When you scout on foot, you can use these waypoints as references and you can take notes on the way.
As for a GPS providing you information, you have to first know that this information is actually really important because it helps you decide how far you should hike before resting. A GPS would give you information concerning your coordinates, which is your latitude and longitude. This helps you to track exactly where you are, which aids in your decision-making process.
Furthermore, a GPS would assist you by letting you know your position, which orientation you are traveling and whether you are successfully going to your intended direction. When one of these three aspects are lost, you would not be able to travel your intended direction. Hence, having all of this information would be imperative for your hiking success.
Increase the probability of your hiking success
‘Success’ to most hikers would mean to actually get from one point to the intended point. In general, a GPS would help by giving you important information to actually get from point A to point B.
One important point to keep in mind is that it may be difficult to lock into satellite under dense foliage. But once you achieve a lock into a satellite, it would be much easier to keep it despite being under a dense forest.
Other aspects of the GPS can also be explored to increase your hiking success. One aspect is the navigational methods that can be employed so that you can easily move in your intended direction. The various navigational methods would include navigating by touching a location on the map displayed on the screen or just following waypoints that you stored in the GPS. By following your preference, you can get from point A to point B more comfortably, and potentially quicker.
Some GPS today can even 3D lock your position, but it requires a bigger amount of memory to store that information. Other functions include recording your tracks, where a GPS can record your ‘track points’ at regular intervals or display your trip data. The function to allow you to navigate from point-to-point would be essential as well, where you can mark certain waypoints which you would like to return to. All of these which are directed to help you be a better hiker!
After knowing how important a GPS is, you may want to rush and get it! But before that, you have to stop and consider what functions you need and what makes a good GPS. Only when you have a really good GPS for yourself, you would be capable of navigating yourself out of trouble.
Some aspects to look at would include battery life, quality of GPS reception, a capacity for storage or even display quality. For example, if you are a person who likes to follow waypoints that are stored in your GPS, you definitely need to consider increasing the memory capacity of your GPS. It is only after considering your own needs where you are ready to choose a GPS.
Also, you would need to look at your before-trip setting, which is basically customizing your unit’s function. Certain things would include the position format and map datum where you should set it to match your topographic map’s datum. You can even develop effective startup routines to help to make your hiking experience great! If you would like to share any tips or reasons on why we need a GPS, please comment below!
Editor’s Note: This guest post is contributed by John Lewis of Epic Wilderness